I have two disclaimers before you continue reading this post. First, I love anything from the onion family. As a child, I ate raw onions and still do to this day. Onions are a staple in my home whether they be sweet, spicy or anything in between. Secondly, this recipe has a long lineage before making it to the Savory Kitchen. I first heard about Chicken with Shallots from my neighbors father, who had read the article in the NY Times. Apparently their friends had also vetted the recipe with it being so good it was served at dinner parties. I looked it up and it actually originated from good ole Martha Stewart, but was adapted by Rishia Zimmerman, Andrew Zimmerman’s wife. You know him, the guy that travels the world eating bugs on “Biazarre Foods.”
Now it is here with me and I am putting my own spin on this tried and true dish that boosts 15, yes you heard right, 15 glorious purple shallots! I also added the bacon and chives (more from the onion family!) I finished Chicken with Shallots with fresh lemon wedges for two reasons, one it needed more color and two, all of these flavors pair wonderfully with lemon. I also omitted the flour breading on the chicken, but added in a little to thicken the sauce midway through reducing the gravy.
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 6 chicken thighs
- Fine sea salt and pepper
- 3 strips extra thick bacon
- 15 whole shallots peeled and ends cut off
- 2 cups white wine
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons dried tarragon or 2 springs fresh
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
- 1/4 cup chives cut into 3-4 inch lengths
- 2 lemons cut into wedges
- Pasta or rice for serving
Start by rinsing the chicken and patting it dry. The key to a nice crispy skin is to start with little to no moisture on the exterior. Season well with fine sea salt and pepper.
Find the largest skillet you have and melt butter over medium heat. When it starts to froth, add chicken thighs. Cook for 5-8 minutes on each side, or until browned. When you do the initial flip, add bacon around the chicken. The chicken may not be cooked in the center, which is fine, it will return to the pan later to finish. I lost a little precious chicken skin in this step, but don't worry, if you do the same, it will still taste marvelous! Remove both chicken and bacon, reserving the drippings.
Add whole peeled shallots to the pan with chicken and bacon renderings. Caramelize for 15-20 minutes, carefully tossing to expose all sides to the heat. Shallots may not be all the all the way soft, but will be well on their way. The skin should be brown and blistery.
Add 2 cups white wine to deglaze the pan and get all those flavor-packed browned bits off the bottom. Stir in Dijon mustard and tarragon. Return chicken and bacon to the pan, wiggling them in between your shallots.
Cover and allow to simmer on low heat for 30 minutes. The shallots will continue to reduce and pop open during the cooking process.
Ladle out 1/2 cup of sauce and whisk with flour, return to the pan and using a large spoon, mix as best you can. Continue to reduce on low for an additional 20 minutes, uncovered.
Lastly, gently toss chives and tomatoes into the dish. Garnish with fresh lemon wedges and then serve over your choice of cooked pasta or rice. Chicken with Shallots deserves a hearty "Bon Appetite!"